London’s mayor accused US President Donald Trump of fueling a “clash of civilizations” by echoing the rhetoric of the Islamic State terror group.
Speaking at a Guardian event Sunday, Sadiq Khan renewed his criticism of Trump’s travel ban that prevents citizens from a number of Muslim-majority countries from visiting the US, saying it played into the hands of IS.
“They say that there is a clash of civilizations, it is not possible to be a Muslim and a Westerner, and the West hates us. And you are inadvertently playing their game, you are helping them,” said Khan, the son of Pakistani immigrants and the first Muslim mayor of a major Western capital.
Khan has been a strong critic of Trump’s travel restrictions and the two have sparred publicly since Trump called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the US during the American presidential election last year.
The London mayor also addressed Trump’s statement last year that Khan would be exempt from his proposed Muslim ban.
“My view was firstly ‘I’m not exceptional’ and secondly ‘Think about what you are saying.’ Because what you are saying is not dissimilar to what Daesh or so-called IS says,” said Khan, using an Arabic acronym for the terror group.
Khan said Trump’s travel ban gave the “wrong impression” of Islam and was meant to sow distrust between Muslims and non-Muslims.
“I’m a Westerner, but also a very proud Muslim. There are some people who want to divide our communities – I’m not going to let them,” he said.
Khan’s remarks came as Trump renewed the travel restrictions on citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from visiting the US, while also adding North Korea, Venezuela and Muslim-majority Chad to the list.
As part of his criticism of Trump, Khan has called for a planned state visit to London by the US president to be canceled, as “his policies go against everything we stand for.”
The two most recently clashed in June after Trump criticized Khan’s leadership following an attack in which three terrorists rammed a van into pedestrians on the London Bridge and then jumped out and stabbed passersby and bar patrons, killing eight people and injuring dozens.
Agencies contributed to this report.